How Volunteering can Enrich your Student Experience5 April 2020
Most students are blessed with having a pretty decent amount of free time. Although this can be spent making a bit of extra cash or chilling with mates, using your time to volunteer will be one of the most rewarding decisions you make during your studies.
Cardiff University’s volunteering department offers a whole host of opportunities and a variety of roles whether it be working with people, animals or the environment. From helping out disadvantaged children in schools or being a friendly face in the local care home, there is even a chance to become a volunteer dog walker for a Cardiff-based dog shelter (now who wouldn’t want to do that?)
If you want to go global, the uni can also make this happen. There are a number of international volunteer projects run by the Global Opportunities team in countries all across the globe. My first year summer took me to Fiji where I volunteered for a month teaching English and Maths, and coaching sports to school children. It is an understatement when I say it was the best experience of my entire time at university. What’s even better, the uni offers a bursary for every student who undertakes an international placement – it’s a win-win.
Although I haven’t listed every volunteering project on offer, if there isn’t something for you, the university will help you kick start your very own volunteering project. There really isn’t any excuse!
So why do it?
Here are 5 very good reasons why:
You will be making a difference to someone, and the local community
Of course the most important reason, volunteering has the potential to make a profound impact on someone else’s life. Although you may feel like you are doing something small, for example, dropping into a care home for a few hours each week to play games and have a chat, this could mean all the difference to an individuals’ everyday life and bring them a huge amount of joy.
The feel-good factor
Volunteering can also help your mental wellbeing as it brings a great sense of fulfilment. Ultimately, helping others makes us happy and feel good about ourselves, and of course, that is never a bad thing.
There is an opportunity to make friends for life when volunteering as it is likely you will be associating with like-minded people. Expanding your network, especially with other students, could make your general uni experience a whole lot better.
CV and employability
Showing a potential employer that you have used your spare time to help others will always be admirable, and will demonstrate desirable qualities. It could just well be that one stand out experience that lands you your graduate job.
Learning new skills
With any volunteering project you will be learning and improving skills all the time. Whether it be teamwork, communication, or problem-solving, there are bound to be situations that arise that will push you out of your comfort zone and develop you as a person.
If you would like to find out more, head over to the University’s volunteering page here: https://www.cardiffstudents.com/jobs-skills/volunteering/projects/